The DfE have published on the social care innovation website, a short guide that they believe will clarify relevant parts of statutory guidance on children’s social care obligations.
They have created this in the belief that there are elements of statutory guidance that act as a barrier to good practice and outcomes for children and families and believe that this has shed light on a number of areas of guidance that is either misunderstood or is perceived to limit local authorities from testing new ways of working.
This has informed revisions in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, where they have sought to make the guidance clearer, e.g. making it clear that family assessments of risk of harm faced by children are permissible as long as the unique needs of individual children are considered.
See the full document here.
The guide has been heavily criticised by many in the sector stating that several parts of the document incorrectly describe the statutory framework for England’s care system. They ask that these sections are immediately withdrawn to avoid the risk of confusion and to prevent any harmful effects on vulnerable children and young people, and those caring for them.